So you want to know how to hack a phone without anyone knowing? This guide will look at several ways to hack someone’s cell phone in 2020 – using methods that actually work. I’ll start with the easy way and then take a look at some alternative hacking methods that you may not be aware of.
First let’s clear up what Hacking a phone actually means. According to most dictionary definitions – Hacking means “to gain unauthorized access to data in a system or computer”.
In the case of cell phone hacking – the phone is the system or computer.
Now I’m not completely comfortable with the term Hacking as it has certain illegal connotations. If you follow this website you’ll know I look in depth at cell phone spy software apps – reviewing the most popular apps, explaining how to use them … and testing them continuously. This can all be done in legal ways. I do not promote any illegal use of spy apps.
If you can hack someone’s phone you basically have access to everything on it – it is the gateway to hacking social media account, passwords, messenger apps and more.
Call it Hacking or spying or monitoring someone’s cell phone – they all amount to the same result – gaining access to the data. So how do you do it?
Table of Contents
The Easy Way to Hack a Phone – Secretly
In most cases the whole point will be to hack someones phone without them knowing and still gain access to as much data as possible – agreed? Cell phone spy software apps are definitely the easiest and most affordable methods to do this … and you don’t need to be a tech wizard.
I have reviews of the best spy apps on this website – going into great detail about what these apps can do. My main Phone Spy Apps Guide covers everything you need to get started – have a look.
The two best selling programs today are mSpy and FlexiSPY – both reliable products that I have tested and actually use. You should check out my mSpy Reviews and my FlexiSPY Reviews pages here for an in depth look at what these apps can do – I think you’ll be amazed!
Both can be used in complete stealth mode and will be almost impossible to detect. No one will know that their mobile phone is Hacked.
Check out the reviews to see the details and pricing of each hacking app.
How Hacking With Spy Apps Works
There are basically two methods for Spy apps to work:
Full Version Software
This is software that you download and install directly onto the phone you want to hack. You need physical access to the phone for at least a few minutes.
Once installed the spy app collects data from the target device and uploads it to an online dashboard. You can login online (from anywhere) and see all of the collected information and activity on the phone.
This full version works on Android and Apple iPhone and tablet devices. Once the software has been installed – no further access is required and you can view all the data remotely. They really are the best way to hack any phone without being an expert.
No Jailbreak Version
This is a relatively new hacking method and is only available for Apple devices such as the iPhone. No software is installed on the phone you want to hack into – and so there is no need to Jailbreak Apple phones.
This version works by monitoring backups of the phone made with iCloud – Apple’s free backup program for the iPhone etc. It does not give real time data as it relies on backup updates. There are also fewer monitoring features compared to the full version programs – but it is still a powerful hacking tool.
Potentially, you do not even need access to the phone you want to hack into – as long as backups are already configured. You do need to have the users Apple ID and Password for their iCloud account.
The no Jailbreak version was first released by mSpy – allowing anyone to hack an iPhone easily!
What Can You Monitor
People are always amazed at how powerful these spy apps can be. The individual hacking programs do offer different advanced feature lists – see my main reviews for details of each.
As standard, almost all spy apps let you :
See detailed call logs, read text messages, see GPS tracking data (where the phone is or has been recently), Browser history, emails, photos and video on the phone, list of apps installed …. the list goes on.
Advanced spy features vary
For example using FlexiSPY – they have call recording features where you can listen to actual voice calls made or received on the hacked device. Their call recording works for calls made using popular messenger apps such as WhatsAPP and Skype.
Hacking a Cell Phone Microphone?
You can actually use FlexiSPY to control the cell phone microphone – and record the surroundings. They call this ambient recording and it can act like a phone bugging device. Incredibly powerful!
Can You Hack the Phone Camera?
Sounds incredible … but you can. FlexiSPY has this advanced feature allowing you to remotely control the cell phones camera and take pictures without the user knowing. Just think how invasive this could be. I know I would not be happy if someone could hack into my phone camera!
Hacking Your Messenger Apps?
Using the most popular spy apps – hacking your social media accounts and messenger apps is now easy and it works.
You can see messages sent and received on popular social media sites and messenger apps – Instagram hack, Facebook hacking or WhatsApp and SnapChat hack is all available with mSpy. See those articles for in depth hacking guides!
You can Track your kids phone in real time and get alerts if the leave or enter “set restricted areas”.
You can also control many functions on the phone – such as blocking specific apps or websites; block certain phone numbers or wipe data – all remotely (after installation).
The bottom line is that you can gain access to almost every activity that takes place with the hacked phone or tablet device. From hacking text messages to hacking Facebook – all easily accomplished with these apps.
How to Hack a Cell Phone Without Having It?
If you are using spy software apps the answer is probably no. For the full version software you will need access to install the program physically onto the target mobile phone or device. After that monitoring and control can be done remotely using the online dashboard.
Using the No Jailbreak version – it can be possible to hack all cell phone data without having it physically … with certain conditions.
First you need to have the user’s Apple ID and password – and secondly the phone must already be set up to run backups on iCloud. If not then you will need to get access to the phone to configure the backups to run initially.
This leads us on to the next section where I look at some other ways you can hack someones phone without having it. Don’t get too excited though – these methods are not readily available to most people and are likely to be very expensive and illegal. But we will have a look for fun!
Hiring a Phone Hacking Pro
I have seen a rise in the number of people offering to “hack any cell phone” without access for a fee …. just send your payment to this person (often several hundred dollars). What could go wrong?
Beware, there are many scammers out there who know just how desperate some people are to hack their spouse or partner’s phone. I am offered these services every week trying to get me to recommend them to my readers.
Most are scams plain and simple and I will never use them or recommend them to anyone. They would also be illegal no matter what your circumstances or how desperate you are.
Are some phone hackers really able to do this sort of thing? Undoubtedly the answer is yes. If they are genuine and have the skills, they will be very expensive – think thousands of dollars – and they will not be advertizing!
What they do is very illegal with severe consequences if caught and they will be extremely careful to remain anonymous. How they perform the phone hacking will vary using some of the techniques I mention below.
How to find a phone hacker?
The most likely way to find someone offering these services will be through some discreet (read shady!) private investigator. I don’t recommend it!
Cloak and Dagger Android Hack
You may have read online about the so called Cloak and Dagger Android hack. Sounds catchy!
In essence this is hacking phones through malicious apps. The idea is that the would be hackers will create an app with malicious intent and get it listed in the Google Play store.
The victim downloads the app and in the background the app gains permissions automatically – enabling them to gain access to your phone. It will automatically grant app permissions – the main one being the “draw on top” permission.
Then they can hack your device and gain control. Now I’m guessing not many people are going to go to these lengths to see what their partner is up to on their phone!
It is well known that the Google Play store has been vulnerable and that some suspect apps have been discovered. But I’m also saying that this is getting more difficult.
The other problem with this being a practical way to hack into someones phone is that it is not easy to target. It is a random – phishing type hack method. Again not a practical cell phone hack for most people.
Hacking Using Stingray or IMSI Catcher
This method has several names attached to it. An IMSI Catcher (International Mobile Subscriber Identifier) is sometimes described as False Towers or the name Stingray (originally a brand name for the hacking equipment).
“IMSI Catcher” is the general name given to devices used to eavesdrop and track mobile network subscribers – i.e. Your cell phone! Originally only really used by law enforcement they have now become much more widespread amongst criminals and / or Private Investigators.
They work (very basically) by spoofing to be a genuine mobile phone tower and intercepting the signals in the surrounding area. They can then identify individual phones and hack their data – sometimes including listening to and recording calls or tracking movements.
Original versions of the equipment sold for in excess of $50,000 but are now reported to be available from $1,500 – obviously in range for more abuse by criminals.
Law enforcement have come under pressure in recent times due to unregulated use without warrant and allegedly abusing privacy laws.
Wireless Sniffer Phone Hack
Another one popular in online articles about cell phone hacking – but a viable option? A wireless sniffer or wireless packet sniffer works in a similar way to the Stingray mentioned above.
It is designed to intercept mobile communications between devices or between networks. Primarily used to target business networks and steal sensitive data. They can also be used to target unsecured public Wi-Fi networks.
Again – how practical is this for the average person? I don’t see many people having the skills and resources to go to these lengths just to see what you are up to on your phone! Think a jealous partner is going to go this route? I highly doubt it.
These types of hack are definitely in the realms of the professional hacker – or criminal! Businesses are finally waking up to these types of threat and investing heavily in protection.
Another one doing the internet rounds – just because it sounds clever. All you need to know is that this is outdated and will not be used by any regular person. Could a pro hacker use this method – again not likely, they have better ways these days.
Law Enforcement Hacking
I always get questions from people who suspect they are being monitored by the police or hacked by the FBI – seriously! I don’t know what they expect from me – I refuse to give any air to these types of comment or question – for my legal safety!
As mentioned above they are well documented as having used Stingray devices in the past. Unless you have been living under a rock in recent years I’m sure you have come to the conclusion that Law enforcement services (wherever you live) have the ability to hack your cell phone without your knowledge.
There have been numerous scandals and leaks from whistleblowers. If they want to spy on your electronic communications they can and will – hopefully legally using a warrant, but who knows?
They have legal powers to request all data held by your phone carrier or service provider – giving access to all your communication data including GPS tracking. That is why criminals use Burner phones.
One thing is for sure … they will not be using mSpy or Flexispy – and you will not find out by looking at your phone for signs you might be hacked!
What About the UK Phone Hacking Scandal?
I have been asked about this numerous times and I mention it here because I find it quite interesting .. and shocking. People think phone hacking has to be some really clever geeky tech expert using some sophisticated software. Sometimes it is really quite basic.
The scandal broke a few years ago when reporters from News International (UK newspaper group) were found to have hacked cell phones belonging to celebrities and others. Prince Harry was one of the most famous to fall victim!
It lead to a huge scandal with official inquiries and several court cases – with some people serving jail sentences.
How did they do it? They hacked the users voicemail accounts. You know the system where you can call your number and then enter your pin to listen to your voicemail messages? Well back in the day most people never thought to change the default pin number!
Investigators simply called up the celebs phones and entered the correct pin and could listen to their voicemail. Not very sophisticated but very intrusive just the same.
Can I Hack a Phone With Just Their Number?
Ah I love this one – people do actually ask me this question on a regular basis. The idea that you can magically put someones phone number into a tool and hey presto – you have hacked their phone.
Sounds too good to be true … because it is. It is part of a long running internet scam. If you see a website offering this just move on. It is Fake.
So – How to Protect Your Cell Phone from Being Hacked?
I have a whole Security section of this website dedicated to finding out if your are being monitored and how to stop it. I even created an in depth EBook on Cell Phone Security. Check it out please.
As to the types of hacking discussed in this article there are some basic steps anyone can take to protect their devices.
- Never let anyone have free access to your phone
- Use a good phone lock app
- Avoid Rooting or Jailbreaking your device
- Use a good antivirus app
- Turn off Bluetooth
- Secure your home Wi-Fi with a strong password
- Use a VPN – virtual private network on any public Wi-Fi
Some common sense security measures can go a long way to stop someone hacking your device. Look after the easy stuff and hope to avoid the high tech hackers!
So there you have it – hacking someones phone can be done very easily, using widely available and affordable spy software. It can also be done with much more sophistication and at great expense.
Don’t get too carried away though – many of the phone hacking methods you read about online are not actually practical for regular people. Yes a sophisticated hacker can target your cell phone – but is it likely?
As always – I only recommend you do this in legal and ethical ways. Privacy laws exist to protect us all – so stay safe and legal.
Thanks for reading.
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About the Author Susan Kennedy
Hi there - I'm Susan, a regular mom who has used spy apps for years now. I was fed up with spammy reviews and poor information so I started this website. It keeps growing!
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